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MIA at I/O: 8 Products That Google Didn’t Mention

·Contributing Editor
MIA at I/O: 8 Products That Google Didn’t Mention

SAN FRANCISCO — This year’s Google I/O keynote clocked in at 2.5 hours — relatively short compared with last year’s 3.5-hour stem-winder. And yet some Google products received no mention or only the briefest mention:

• Google Glass: I thought the displays of prototype Glass units on the ground floor of the Moscone Center meant we’d get a major update on this venture into wearable computing. Not so: The only Glass news here was an increase in memory and some other tweaks announced Tuesday, before the conference. 

• Google+: The social network that got a huge chunk of time onstage the past two years was barely noted this time around. Key factor: G+ godfather Vic Gundotra left the company in April.

• Gmail: Google announced a new way for third-party apps and sites to connect to its email service beyond the Internet-standard IMAP synchronization that has sometimes been an awkward fit, but that didn’t get a shout-out onstage.

• Google Fiber: Google’s gigabit fiber-optic service has cities and counties prostrating themselves before Google to be added to its list, but I/O brought no news about that — or any other ventures into Internet connectivity like Google’s “Project Loon” scheme for balloon-broadcast access.

• Driverless cars: The only vehicles discussed during the keynote had human drivers at the wheel — which they kept their hands on while interacting via voice with Google’s Android auto system.

• Home automation: On Tuesday, Google’s Nest subsidiary announced a platform for third-party apps to connect to home appliances like its smart thermostat, but that was treated during the keynote like, well, yesterday’s news.

• Nexus and Play edition phones: Unlike in prior years, this keynote didn’t include any news about new Nexus phones or tablets or “Play edition” versions of existing phones that ship with stock editions of Android.

Google Voice: The call-management service that Google has lately appeared to forget it owns was also left on hold during the keynote. And my hopes of a quiet update to the Hangouts app for Android that would add the same Internet-calling feature already present in the iOS version seem to have been dashed. No, I’m not bitter.

There was plenty of other news at Google I/O, however, which you can read all about right here

Email Rob at rob@robpegoraro.com; follow him on Twitter at @robpegoraro.